This is just a quick one in the "what it was that killed them" series --- in this instance a deadly train crash deep in Missouri that took the life of young Clarence Noble, only 23, on the 19th of August, 1891, 130 years ago. Clarence is buried in the Niswender Pioneer Cemetery, northwest of Chariton.
Here are the details as reported in The Chariton Democrat on Sept. 3, 1891:
Last Saturday morning two trains running in opposite directions on the St. Louis and San Francisco road met while running at full speed about 45 miles from Springfield, Mo.
The firemen and engineers on both engines were crushed beneath the engines, and the bodies were not recovered until many hours after the wreck, when they were all taken out badly mangled. The fireman on one of the locomotives was Mr. Clarence A. Noble, formerly of Liberty township, this county, and brother of Mr. A. Noble who lives in the north part of the city.
C.A. Noble was a young man only 23 years of age. His wife, a daughter of Jackson Loney, a well known farmer of Liberty township, survives him. The remains of Mr. Noble were brought to this county for interment on Monday. The body arrived on No. 3 and was immediately taken to Oakley where the remains were interred. A larger number of sorrowing friends followed the remains to their last resting place.
His afflicted family have the sincere sympathy of the people of this community.
At this writing the cause of the accident is unknown. It is supposed however that Bridwell and Howard, the engineer and fireman on one of the trains who had orders to side track at a small station named Phillipsburg, mistook their orders and pulled out of the station through mistake.
The cause may never be known, for the lips of those who might disclose it are forever closed as the result of a frightful collision. And thus are added four more victims to the long list of brave boys who have sacrificed their lives in the dangerous work of railroading.